Impact & Opinions | Tionchar & Tuairimí

Our Future: The College of Business, Public Policy and Law    

Our Future: The College of Business, Public Policy and Law    

13 December 22
 | 9 MINS

Prof Geraint Howells, Executive Dean of the College of Business, Public Policy and Law   discusses the college’s ambitious plans for the years ahead.

It is almost two years since I joined the College from the University of Manchester, to where I returned after spending five years in Hong Kong. I have been warmly welcomed, but the depth and strength of our Community is becoming ever more evident as we return to a new normality.  As a lawyer, I had been aware of the strength of our law school. I am now becoming more familiar with the quality of our Business School which is increasingly being recognised by the leading accreditation bodies. We also have a world class Hotel Management College at Shannon. When asked what attracted me to Galway my answer is the opportunity of working within an quality institution with ambitions to become even stronger that is of a size where one can feel part of a Community with a common agenda.  Our alumni are part of that community. We want to work with you develop Your College. I am always keen to meet alumni and friends of the College so please get in touch if you want to meet up.

Over the past number of years, I am proud of the growth of our college and the ambitious targets we have achieved, including growth in student numbers, a focus on equality, diversity and inclusion, and the development of new and exciting international partnerships. Our student numbers have continued to grow, in particular our  international postgraduate students, which has more than trebled in the past six years.

This impressive growth is only the beginning for the College of Business, Public Policy and Law, as we embark on our exciting next chapter with our Strategy 2022-2026. As a college for the public good, we look to provide solutions for the challenges of our time and to ensure our positive impact has a global reach. To achieve this, we have set ambitious targets which we are on our way to achieving. As Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) becomes a strategic priority for organisations around the world, we want to ensure our students are well-equipped for future success, and as such, we are embedding the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) in our teaching and learning programmes. Internally, we are working to facilitate SDG incentivisation schemes and support measures, so that our research continues to make a meaningful contribution globally. 

As any good organisation knows, diversity is a key strength, and the learnings brought from our increasingly diverse student population are a great privilege for the college.

Importantly, we want the College of Business, Public Policy and Law to be a great place to study and work, and a great place for our community more broadly. Over the past number of years, our staff has worked hard to make this vision a reality, with the J.E. Cairnes School of Business and Economics attaining the Athena Swan Bronze Award, the first from a non-STEM school at the University of Galway. This award recognises the school’s commitment to gender equality, inclusivity, and diversity and to providing opportunities for all staff and students in a supportive environment. We are eagerly awaiting similar results for the School of Law and Shannon College of Hotel Management.

As any good organisation knows, diversity is a key strength, and the learnings brought from our increasingly diverse student population are a great privilege for the college. A key priority for our College is to put our location on the West of Ireland on the map for the rest of the world, and attract some of the best and brightest to work and study here in Galway and Shannon. To date, we have developed over 100 international partnerships, and we continue to develop a prestigious network of international partners, aligned with our research expertise, to support research and teaching and to enhance our reputation.

Finally, as former students, you understand the importance of the environment in which you choose to work and study, and our historic campus might have even been part of the reason you decided to study at University of Galway. While we want to maintain our history and our legacy, we also want to ensure we have the infrastructure in place to deliver a world-class learning experience. Thus, over the coming years, we are developing a new Law School building, providing state-of-the-art hospitality, research, teaching and recreational facilities at Shannon, and upgrading both the physical and technological facilities and creating collaborative learning spaces in the J.E. Cairnes School of Business and Economics.

As I reflect on all we have achieved so far and all we have set out to achieve, I am brought back to our vision for the college – to foster excellence, built on by a values-based culture and driven by a desire to create an open and respectful environment. We are all on our way to achieving this vision and I am immensely proud to be part of this community, and I hope you are too.


Prof Geraint Howells

Executive Dean of the College of Business, Public Policy and Law


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